We were deeply saddened to hear the news that Lawrence Leighton Smith, Music Director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic through thick and thin over the past 11, years will not be well enough to conduct at his scheduled farewell concert featuring Bruckner’s 7th Symphony this weekend. Instead, the Philharmonic has arranged for their new, as-yet-unannounced new Music Director to fill in for Leighton Smith by way of a surprise announcement for Saturday evening’s performance. (We’ll have an interview with the new director that will post at 8:01 p.m. on Saturday evening).

We had the great pleasure of attending Smith’s courageous penultimate performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on April 16th and wish him our many thanks for all that he brought to our music community.

Tickets are still available for this weekend’s farewell concert that will also double as an announcement of the new Music Director HERE.

There’s more information and an interview by T.D. Mobley-Martinez at the Gazette HERE and you can listen to Michelle Mercer’s retrospecitve on smith Smith that aired on KRCC News last February below:

The 2010-2011 season marks Lawrence Leighton Smith’s 11th year as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony and Philharmonic, and his final one on the job. What should have been a triumphant retirement year for Smith has been darkened by news of his recent diagnosis with Binswanger’s Disease, a form of dementia. But Smith was in high spirits as he looked back on his career with KRCC’s Michelle Mercer, who offers this retrospective.

Lawrence Leighton Smith: A Career Retrospective

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Disclaimer: the Philharmonic is an underwriter of KRCC.

 

3 Responses to A Fond Farewell to Lawrence Leighton Smith

  1. Jeremy says:

    This weekend’s concerts will be earth-shattering!

  2. Ben M. Birkhead M.D. says:

    Larry Smith was an inspiration to me. He was the only music director for whom I ever did homework in preparation for his concerts. His pre-concert lectures were superb; the equal of the young Bernstein but without the egotistical flair.

    His tenure with the Louisville Orchestra (my local orchestra) was the standout of my supportive association with that organization.

    I have missed him since he left. He is in my prayers.

  3. Jack Elmore says:

    I am deeply saddened to learn of your incurrable disease. I have many fond memories of your tenure with the Oregon Symphony in which I played 2nd trombone. I have often reflected upon the school concerts we did together at my public schools where I taught instrumental music in Portland, OR. You performed Carnival Scenes at Vienna on piano and we performed Don Gillis’s “Diaglogue for Trombone”. You were an exemplary accompanist as well as soloist. I also recall a tour concert that we did in Klamath Falls, OR, at a time when the Portland Trailblazers basketball team was playing for the title at the same time we had our concert. I know you must have known that, since I had lots of rests in my part, I was communicating the score throughout the concert to two members of the string bass section, Larry Zgonc and Dick Mansfield, and you let it slide. I also recall a rehearsal incident at which you were telling the orchestra how you wanted a rhythm consisting of a triplet followed by quarter note and you cracked up the entire orchestra by using the phrase “fuck a da bum”. You did blush a bit after that one. I wish you well in your final journey and applaud your courage to face Binswangers headon. You have my utmost respect and admiration. Fondly, Jack Elmore, 2nd trombone Oregon Symphony 1968-97.

News

Richard Haro Photography
May 28, 2016 | NPR · Michel Martin traveled to Fort Collins, Colo. to talk with Kathleen Curry, Patty Limerick, Roger Fragua and Paolo Bacigalupi about owning water and dealing with a future where water may be scarce.
 

May 28, 2016 | NPR · Medical blogger Jillian Knowles and writer Alex Hardy have both written about moving back in with their parents. They share their experiences, while NPR’s Asma Khalid explains the trend.
 

May 28, 2016 | NPR · In 1985 the city of Thornton, Colo. bought up nearby farmland and water rights from its farms. Now, some of those farms are drying up.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images/Blend Images RM
May 28, 2016 | NPR · Over 1,000 students submitted their work for Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections. Two young poets split the top prize — and they’ve shared their poems with NPR.
 

Getty Images
May 28, 2016 | NPR · This week we’ve invited Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to the show. (So if a giant asteroid crashes into Earth while he plays our quiz, you’re on your own.)
 

May 28, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Scott Simon talks with writer Russell Banks about his new book, “Voyager.” It’s a collection of travel writing that also reads like a memoir.
 

Music

May 28, 2016 | NPR · William Bell cut his first Stax records tracks more than 50 years ago. Now, he’s back on the label. Bell tells NPR’s Scott Simon about his new album, and remixing one of his biggest hits.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 28, 2016 | NPR · The young band recently released a single called “Michigan And Again.” Though the band’s three members do love their home state, the inspiration for the song came from an unlikely source.
 

AFP/Getty Images
May 28, 2016 | NPR · Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab